Did the Resurrection of Jesus Change the Sabbath?

A lot of Christians today use the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a the reason they keep Sunday as their Sabbath Day. However, do you really know what the Scripture says? Does the Bible tell us that Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday and therefore we should keep Sunday as the Sabbath? Let’s find out.

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The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most common excuses most Christians make so they can ignore the Sabbath command.

Most Christians today would argue that since Jesus (Yahshua) was resurrected on Sunday, then it follows that they would now keep Sunday as their Sabbath. To make things even convincing, they go on to call it the “Lord’s Day.”

However, is the popular belief about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its relation to the Sabbath, correct? Can this be proven in the Scripture? Or is it just a desperate move of Christians to keep their tradition and reject God’s command?

What most Christians believe

If you try to do an Internet search, “Why Christians keep Sunday?”, you’ll find a lot of websites out there that answer that question.

Let me just give one of the answers that I got. I chose this answer because I believe this is the common belief shared by most Christian denominations today.

Here’s a quote from the website called Ligonier Ministries under their blog entitled, “Why Do Christians Worship on Sunday?”, published on May 24, 2019:

“From creation onward, the people of God worshiped on the seventh day of the week. This was a “creation ordinance” that the Creator Himself established by His example, with the intent that His creatures would follow it. “

So, the blog author confirms and believes that the true Sabbath day is the SEVENTH day of the week and not Sunday. However, as you will see later, the author would deliberately ignore and throw that out in the trash by saying:

When Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, things changed. Christ, the second Adam, “finished” (John 19:30) the work that the first Adam failed to do (Rom. 5:12-19).

Now, let’s read the verses that he quoted:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30).

The other verses would be Romans 5:12-19:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Notice from these verses, did it say anything about the Sabbath day becoming Sunday just because of Jesus’ resurrection?

The answer is a resounding, NO!

Because the author can’t prove the Sunday Sabbath from the Scripture, what he did instead was to quote a human being:

“From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, [the Sabbath] was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath” (WCF, 21:7).

I wasn’t sure what WCF is so I tried to check what it is. WCF stands for Westminster Confession of Faith. Here’s what Wikimedia has mentioned about WCF:

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the “subordinate standard” of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.

So, as you can see, using the resurrection of Christ as an excuse to transfer the sacredness of the Sabbath to Sunday is NOT mandated by Scripture.

It wasn’t made by God. 

It wasn’t made by Jesus Christ. 

It wasn’t made by the Apostles of the early church.

Plain and simple: Sunday worship is a tradition of men that sadly accepted by most Christians today.

Difference between Sabbath and Sunday Worship.
Difference between Sabbath and Sunday Worship.

The problem with the resurrection Sunday

The traditional story of Christ’s crucifixion week is as follows:

  • He died in late Friday afternoon. (They call it the Good Friday.)
  • He rose on Sunday morning. (They call it Easter Sunday.)

Sounds simple, right?

But why would they say that Yahshua was killed and buried on Friday?

It’s because of this verse:

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away (John 19:31).

The Preparation Day is usually known as Friday because it is the day Jews prepare for the Sabbath, which will start on Friday Sunset. However, as you will find out later, the Preparation Day isn’t only limited to Friday, but it can fall on other days. More on this as we proceed.

It is quite interesting by saying that Christ was resurrected on Sunday, Christians actually acknowledge that the Sabbath was indeed on the Seventh Day!

Yet, most Christians today would rather follow traditions rather than the Scripture.

Why Sunday can’t possibly be the resurrection day

Now, here’s something you need to understand. Yahshua gave one and only sign that He is indeed the Messiah.

And that sign?

It’s the sign of being in the grave for three days and three nights.

We read in Matthew 12:38-40:

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

So, take a moment to think about it.

Traditional resurrection story tells us that Yahshua died on Friday, buried late afternoon that day, and was resurrected early Sunday morning.

So, we have only 2 nights (Friday night and Saturday night) and 1 day (Saturday).

Does that sound like 3 days and 3 nights?

Obviously, NOT!

So, there’s something wrong with the traditional beliefs of most Christians today that says Christ was buried Friday afternoon and rose Sunday morning.

When was Christ resurrected?

If Christ wasn’t resurrected on Sunday morning, then when?

The key to understanding the right answer is to know how many Sabbaths were mentioned here. Not known to many, aside from the weekly Sabbaths that fall on Friday Sunset to Saturday Sunset, there are other Sabbaths that usually fall on any day of the week.

During the crucifixion week, there were actually two Sabbaths. That’s why the Apostle John wrote in John 19:31:

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 

The High Day mentioned here is not the weekly Sabbath but one of the Feasts of God listed in Leviticus 23.

That High Day was the First Day of the Unleavened Bread

During that year, this High Day fell on Thursday. Since the day of the Jews started at sunset, the First Day of the Unleavened Bread happened on Wednesday Sunset to Thursday Sunset.

How can we be sure that Jesus died on Wednesday? Here’s a prophecy spoken of by Daniel about the Messiah, which gives us a clue:

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:26-27)

Long ago, Daniel prophesied through divine revelation that Christ would be killed in the middle of the week.

What is the middle of the week?

It’s Wednesday.

With all the information we have gathered, here’s a quick look at the chronology of Christ’s death and resurrection:

  • Wednesday: Yahshua was crucified around 9 am. He died around 3 pm. Christ’s body was buried just before the Sunset.
  • Thursday: the night of Wednesday and the day of Thursday are counted as the first day.
  • Friday: the night of Thursday and the day of Friday are counted as the second day.
  • Saturday: the night of Friday and the day of Saturday are counted as the third day. Jesus or Yahshua rose from the dead on the day portion of the Saturday.
  • Sunday: the women went to the tomb of Yahshua to bring spices. They have found the tomb already empty.

Now that forms our 3 days and 3 nights Christ said to be the sign that He is the Messiah!

When was Jesus resurrected?
When was Jesus resurrected?

In Summary

A late Friday afternoon burial and early morning Sunday resurrection don’t add up. It just doesn’t make sense. If we still keep on insisting that Christ rose on Sunday, we are simply going against what the Scripture clearly says.

So, therefore, since Christ did not rise on Sunday, the argument that we must keep the Sabbath on Sunday because of Christ’s resurrection happening on that day DOES NOT hold any water.

There’s really no scriptural support for Christians to keep the Sabbath on Sundays — not even the resurrection of Christ!